Not Sure How I Am Gonna Be Able To Do This...

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Old 11-14-2008, 09:15 AM
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Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

I work for one of the largest healthcare companies in the US. ***Big sigh and trying to breath*** As of November 20th they are taking our right to smoke on our breaks away. Not only that but we cannot go to our cars and smoke either. In fact, we can only smoke once we have left the property. If you light up in your car while leaving, someone will probably tell on you and you will get written up. We were told 2 months ago, and we all flipped out, but now we are really flipping out. It's not like we were leaving butts everywhere, it is just a new rule we are implementing, it will also be implemented at all the hospitals for our organization--patients/visitors/employees cannot smoke on grounds. What bothers me is that I work in the service center where we share our building with other companies. They will still be allowed to smoke, this building is not owned by us, we are leasing it, I don't think they should have any right to tell us we cannot smoke on someone elses property, esp since the property owning company employees will still be smoking on property.

Since we have 2 15 minute paid breaks, we cannot smoke since we are on the clock. We cannot leave the property (even just to go out to the street--which is public property). For lunch (since it is unpaid) we must leave the property to smoke.

I'm probably making too much out of this and it will all work out in the long run, but I'm starting to get a little worried--couldn't they have waited to start after Thanksgiving or the holidays? I think the day is National Smokeout Day or something.

Anyone else have to go through this? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2008, 09:19 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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My company is going smoke free jan 1st.... Alot of hospitals and med centers are somke free here... also in NY you can't smoke inside any public facility.... including bars and restaurants!
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:19 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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geez! that's awful!
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:20 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Oh wow! That seems a little much. I don't know if they can tell you that you can't smoke or not. You might want to look into that a little more, especially since your company does not own the building.

The 15 minute break, while paid, doesn't mean they get to tell you what you can or can't do with it. If you want to take that 15 minutes to walk around the block, then can they legally tell you that you can't?
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:30 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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I don't think they can legally prevent you from smoking in your car while driving out of the lot or driving in. This seems a bit overboard. I understand having designated places "outside" of the building to smoke. That's what my company has. Maybe because you work for a healthcare provider, that's why they are doing this but again, legally I don't think they can stop you from smoking in your car.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:30 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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I thought about the taking a walk thing, there are a bunch of buildings in this complex. Lots of people walk all around (I used to when I was preggo and quit smoking for the pregnancy). I think they are going to be much stricter about it and only let us walk around our building. Plus if you come back smelling like smoke???? They will know. Really it is just annoying how they want to tell us what to do. They are paying for anyone who wants to quit smoking for any rx meds and certain programs. I think they want us all to quit to reduce insurance premiums. We are a huge company the premiums are not bad--or at least my portion. I cover me and my two kids and pay less than $80.00 every two weeks and this is for Blue Cross coverage, not some mom and pop insurance. It is just that D-Day is getting closer. If the issue was that they did not want anyone smoking on the property that would be one thing but the other companies in this building will still be out there smoking.

They feel bad for us, they have offered to hold all of our ciggys when someone walks by--that would be so funny if people walked by and she had like 4 cigarettes in her hand. We would be like, "well, we missed talking to her." and she would be like, "I REALLY needed a ciggy, I'm stressed." I doubt they would fall for that, but at least they are trying to come up with solutions for us. Before we were told we could not leave the premises, they were talking about taking turns loading us up in the van and riding up and down the street. They they said they would offer to sell their work badge to us for 5 minutes at a time for $.50.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:39 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by erp0620 View Post
Oh wow! That seems a little much. I don't know if they can tell you that you can't smoke or not. You might want to look into that a little more, especially since your company does not own the building.

The 15 minute break, while paid, doesn't mean they get to tell you what you can or can't do with it. If you want to take that 15 minutes to walk around the block, then can they legally tell you that you can't?
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Originally Posted by jennjenn View Post
I don't think they can legally prevent you from smoking in your car while driving out of the lot or driving in. This seems a bit overboard. I understand having designated places "outside" of the building to smoke. That's what my company has. Maybe because you work for a healthcare provider, that's why they are doing this but again, legally I don't think they can stop you from smoking in your car.
They can prevent you from smoking while on the premises. They can also implement a program that you must be smoke free in order to work for the company. They are both legal. As for breaks - you cannot by law leave the premises while on a break on the clock. If your lunch break is unpaid then you can leave the premises and go smoke across the street they can prevent you from smoking even in your car in the parking lot. Wouldn't it just be better for you, your health and your pocketbook to quit smoking. I quit 9 years ago and I cannot believe how much I spent on cigarettes - they ain't cheap.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:42 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Well, I can see where they are coming from, though I think it is dangerous territory for an employer. What is next- scrutinizing the lunch the fat employees bring or forbidding them from getting cokes from the vending machines?. I know it will suck and be hard for you, but maybe you will quit (think about the money that will save). They are a healthcare organization so I can see where they do not want someone who is am ambassador for them (because if you have a badge on and can be id'd as their employee you are) engaging in such an unhealthy practice...esp. if you are around patients. I lost my mother who never smoked to lung cancer that metastasized so I don't think I'd love seeing a nurse or someone light up while I was going through that. Also, how many fat people are weight loss counselors and how many "all natural looking" women want to sell Mary Kay...Sorry, but it looks like demz the brakes.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:45 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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My DH works for a construction company, and they aren't allowed to smoke at certain worksites including the one where he is currently. They shuttle into the jobsite and have to shuttle back to their cars in the afternoon, so he can't smoke in his car until he is off the clock. He's a smoker, so he feels your pain!

I am a reformed smoker, so it doesn't bother me as much. I respect your right to do with your body as you will, but they are a company looking out for the bottom line. I'm sure it is insurance $ on thier part that is motivating them, not your health.

Do they offer any smoking cessation programs? If you went thru one of theirs and then got caught smoking, maybe they would be more lenient since you are trying to quit.

Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:46 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Honestly, yes it would be better for my health, but I would like to be the one that makes that decision for myself. The thing is that this is not my companies premises. We lease part of this area, we do not lease all of this building, the other companies in this building are still allowed to smoke. We now have to tell prospective employees about the new rule. I do plan to quit, but the only times I have been able to quit and been sucessful was when I was pregnant. I plan on another child, DBF doesn't have any, but I would like to get married first. So no had I known this rule since I started working here, I would understand it more, but I've been here 5 years and is driving me nuts thinking about it.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:50 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marbear View Post
Well, I can see where they are coming from, though I think it is dangerous territory for an employer. What is next- scrutinizing the lunch the fat employees bring or forbidding them from getting cokes from the vending machines?. I know it will suck and be hard for you, but maybe you will quit (think about the money that will save). They are a healthcare organization so I can see where they do not want someone who is am ambassador for them (because if you have a badge on and can be id'd as their employee you are) engaging in such an unhealthy practice...esp. if you are around patients. I lost my mother who never smoked to lung cancer that metastasized so I don't think I'd love seeing a nurse or someone light up while I was going through that. Also, how many fat people are weight loss counselors and how many "all natural looking" women want to sell Mary Kay...Sorry, but it looks like demz the brakes.

This is what I said to my manager, "Are they gonna inspect our lunches next." She kinda laughed, we get along very well so I can tell her how I feel.

I knew this was gonna be the rule 2 months ago, so I know I can't change it. I was just wondering how others dealt with it. I usually take a late lunch around 2:00. I am thinking about changing that to 12:15 (4 hours into my shift). Just don't know if there is anything else I can do.

The other thing is that we do not work with the public, we do the billing, collection from insurance companies, logging of contractual adjustments, appeals, and call service unit. It is not like the public is interacting with us face to face.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:51 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Consider it a helpful push to quit and get healthy for the holidays...

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:51 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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I'm sorry Marbear about your mom, I do know this is an unhealthy habit and need to stop, but right now is really not a great time. But then again, when will it be a good time? I just wanted to make that decision for myself.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:08 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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I believe this is going to start happening more and more in the work place. On one hand I know it's completely irritating to be told what you can and cannot do. Then, on the other hand...think about how much healthier you'll be and how much money you'll not be spending on cigs.

It looks like you really aren't going to have choice. Maybe this'll help...like it did with pregnancy..you didn't give yourself a choice there and you stopped smoking. I wish you all the best.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:09 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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I really feel your pain. I guess I am fortunate I work in such a small company I just get up and walk outside when I want to smoke. I have worked for a company with almost the same rules, but on breaks everyone went across the street and smoked, you knew who all the smokers in the company were because we were all huddled together. If you were caught smoking on the property, even in your car it was grounds for immediate dismisal. I wish you lots of luck
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:12 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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I can still smoke before work, on lunch (as long as I leave), and after work. I am stubborn, they tell me I cannot do something, I will. I will follow their rules, but I will make the decision for myself when I plan to quit smoking.

I guess I just wanted to rant for a second, especially since the day is getting closer, but I know I will be OK, and I just might, might quit, who knows? I guess that means my break time will officially be AFC time!
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:14 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Some places here have done that including a couple medical facilities. I understand that it's a bit of a pain, but I guess my only advice would be is to look at this as an opportunity to try to quit.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:45 AM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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I'm a former smoker and I really do understand how hard it is to quit. I also understand how much healthier it is to not smoke. I'm not going to tell you to quit, though, because you can't quit for someone else, KWIM? It took me 3 times to quit for good and I'm glad I did. But DH still struggles. He swore he would quit by the time DD was born and she's 18 months now. He hopes to quit by the time DS is born, but we'll see. It's very easy for people to say this will be just the opportunity for you to quit, but if you aren't ready to quit for YOU then it's not going to work. Like I said, I speak from experience on both sides, LOL.

Good luck in figuring out a solution, either long term or temporary. It's so hard...
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:50 PM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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i am honestly glad for places that are making rules like this. my dd has really bad asthma and i hate that fact that we have to walk thur a group of smoker to get in to most stores. and even if you smoke in your car that air still gets out. sorry, but i think its gross and i don't want to breathe it. it is so not the same as "inspecting your lunch". if you eat a high fat lunch you are not harming anyone elses body, just you own. but smoking harms lots of innocent people. jmho. i do feel bad for you, it sucks to feel restricted in any area and out of control, but just take it as a push.. saying "i wanted to do it when I wanted to do it" kinda makes you sound like a stubborn teenager.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:06 PM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexdur85 View Post
Consider it a helpful push to quit and get healthy for the holidays...

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
I don't smoke and personally would not want to walk into any health care facility and have a worker smell like smoke. Granted, outside people don't see you. I think that this may be a boost to get their employees to get healthy.

OT a little, but I was at the library today and was on the computer. A person walked by and I just about gagged. She smelled so bad of smoke. I did start to cough and had to put my shirt over my nose to not smell her. It was totally gross.

I wish you the best in this and consider all the money you will save if you quit smoking.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:11 PM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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My company is going smoke free jan 1st.... Alot of hospitals and med centers are somke free here... also in NY you can't smoke inside any public facility.... including bars and restaurants!
same here! well my dh's hospital he works for is smoke and you cant smoke in bars or restaurants. im happy bout the restaurants though. its so nice to not have to sit in smoke. (no offense)
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:11 PM

RE: Not sure how I am gonna be able to do this...

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When I worked as a Flight Attendant I just about went nuts trying to smoke. They made it next to impossible for us to smoke but we all found ways. Running through the pouring rain for a 3 minute smoke break, sitting in a 5' by 5' "smoking room" with 6 other crew members and bribing the pilots to prepare the plane so you could run off real quickly before the next flight! Ah, I do not miss that one bit!

You'll make it, everyone will adjust. I would be stressing right now too.

When I made the decision to quit smoking I did it the 1st time. BUT only because I was ready, had support & realized that I never wanted to go through that ever again!

Good luck!
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